Summary: What we do for someone on their physical birthday, we should do for someone to prepare for their spiritual birthday.
Preparing for a Spiritual Birthday
Does God place a special meaning in our birthdays? I tried to look up the word “birthday” in the Bible. Here are the two references to birthday:
Now it came to pass on the third day, which was Pharaoh’s birthday, that he made a feast for all his servants; and he lifted up the head of the chief butler and of the chief baker among his servants. Then he restored the chief butler to his butlership again, and he placed the cup in Pharaoh’s hand. But he hanged the chief baker, as Joseph had interpreted to them.
(Genesis 40:20-22 NKJV)
Pharaoh was the first reference. The second is Herod.
But when Herod’s birthday was celebrated, the daughter of Herodias danced before them and pleased Herod. Therefore he promised with an oath to give her whatever she might ask. So she, having been prompted by her mother, said, "Give me John the Baptist’s head here on a platter." And the king was sorry; nevertheless, because of the oaths and because of those who sat with him, he commanded it to be given to her. So he sent and had John beheaded in prison.
(Matthew 14:6-10 NKJV)
Job also talks about the day of his birth. He curses that day. So, we have three different examples in the Bible about birthdays and how they were celebrated. Based on these three examples, some groups don’t celebrate birthdays at all. Jehovah Witnesses are one such group.
But does that mean that we can’t celebrate birthdays at all? We are made in the image of God. Our physical birthday reveals this. While many human leaders in history made the celebration of their birthdays a holy day – Pharaoh was one, the Bible never places such emphasis on this. This is one of the reasons why we are never commanded to celebrate Christmas. We may do that, but it is not because it comes from the Bible.
The Bible talks about our physical death date.
A good name is better than precious ointment,and the day of death than the day of one’s birth;
(Ecclesiastes 7:1 NKJV)
And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment,
(Hebrews 9:27 NKJV)
So we are all born and we are all going to die physically.
The Bible also talks about a spiritual birthday. Like the saying goes: born once, die twice, but born twice, die once.
Jesus said it this way:
Jesus answered and said to him, "Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God."
(John 3:3 NKJV)
That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.
(John 3:6 NKJV)
The Bible doesn’t even say to celebrate our own spiritual birthday. But it does tell us to look forward and prepare for someone else’s spiritual birthday.
Have you ever helped prepare for someone else’s physical birthday? Have you ever helped prepare a birthday party?
Whether it is planned or it is a surprise, there are many things to do to prepare:
You bake a cake
You invite friends and family
You plan an eventual party, games, and celebration
The Bremer have a tradition. When they turn 30 and they are not yet married, the men have to sweep the floor in front of the “Dom” - the cathedral, and the women have to clean door-handles.